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Book Review: "Life is what you make it" by Preeti Shenoy

Life is what you make it – Well, to start with this is really one of those books which makes you restless if you don’t finish it in continuation! I started reading this book last weekend but then due to lots of other commitments both at office and home front, I could not get time to pick it back. And trust me, every night when I missed to read the book I kept on thinking about Ankita and what exactly would have happened to her perfect life which ended her being into a mental hospital? Initial few pages portrayed her life going on a smooth path – a nice student life in one of the most reputed colleges and a nice personal life with all the love from her boyfriend… Then how come she is meeting this psychiatrist described at the start of the story? Thank God, I finally got the chance to pick it up this Saturday and all the curiosity ensured that I didn’t keep the book down without finishing it completely.

As I do with my reviews, I don’t prefer to reveal much of the story or scenes from any book / movie in the interest who are yet to read / watch it. So, here goes just the brief summary of what this book is all about – It’s is the story of a young gal Ankita Sharma who is confident, smart, ambitious and is moving ahead in her life in the desired direction. The book starts with her first exposure to college life, her long distance love relationship, her changing personality in an all girls’ college, her encounter with new friends and relationship swings like most of the girls of her age. Life is going good till she realizes that God has made some other plans for her. Ankita’s life turns topsy-turvy when she is diagnosed with a mental illness. The second half of the book very sensitively deals with her anger, fear, pain and her struggle to overcome the odds of her life. What seems to be an easy, breezy read in the beginning actually turns out to be an intense and captivating story by the end.

Personally speaking, I really loved the book and it fared far better than I expected it to be. Reason for expecting it to be a general read was mainly the sentence on the cover of the book – "A story of love, hope and how determination can overcome destiny". I assumed it to be like most of these urban English fiction these days i.e., simple love story with general highs and lows of life. But this book is much more than just another love story. More than anything else, I liked the narration of this story. Be it the joy or fun of Ankita or her strife to regain her life, almost every aspect has been presented in a simple yet gripping way. There were moments when I got so engrossed with Ankita’s pain that I actually ended up googling “bipolar disorder” in order to understand this disease better. From words to the plot, everything held my attention from start to end. As per author’s one the tweets, this book has been declared as national bestseller now. Well, it definitely deserves to be one! Overall, a very interesting read and a book which I surely recommend.

Book Details:
Title: Life is what you make it
Price: Rs. 100 (Available at discounted rates online – Flipkart, Infibeam)
Number of Pages: 209
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Like the book at: Facebook

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! Thank you BlogAdda for sending me this book for review.

Woh bachpan ki dosti...

WTH, again I’m absconding from my blog despite the fact that I have so many things to share. Damn the work and health and hundreds of other engagements which are keeping me away from things which I love to do the most :(. Nevertheless today I’m back as too excited with a recent incident and I think I must pen it down :).

I got a call from my office receptionist that a woman named S called and has left her number for me. The name immediately rang a bell but then I reminded myself that it can’t be “that” S which I was thinking about. After all it’s been decades that we lost touch with each other. Maybe she is some client or other business associate with a similar name. So, with this in mind I dialed up the number keeping my tone the formal business like but wow, whoa, whatey surprise it was! I just could not believe it was same S… same old kindergarten school friend! Yes, it was her only. We cross checked and re-verified with few questions about our school days and lo behold it was confirmed! Now the most important question, how did she manage to find me and that too on my office landline number? And when I heard of her efforts, I was totally dumbstruck. I mean I bow down to her efforts of finding such a long lost childhood friend. So, this is what she had to say:

Whenever she thought of the word friend, she remembered me. Though our lives moved on after our primary schools, we moved to different schools and then different cities but she kept on looking for me. As was the case in those non-internet & non-mobile phones era, there was no simpler way to find out the whereabouts of each other. Though we used to hear about each other through friends and occasionally communicated through postal letters too but then even that got lost esp. because of me moving to different cities for further education and then later job. She got married and is now settled in Delhi in her family life. Slowly she began using internet and she said the first name which she searched on Google or Facebook was mine. She found me on FB, but couldn’t send me message due to some privacy settings. Later landed on my publicly available email id through my blog, sent there a mail which I never got as it went in spam. Googled more and found my professional whereabouts, landed on my company website, found the corporate landline number of my company and dialed there asking for me and yes she got me!”

She was indeed a very-very close friend of mine, in fact best friend of those chaddi-buddy days :) spent in that small town which perhaps is one of the remotest corners of the country but is one of the most special places for me mainly because of the lovely people & beautiful childhood memories associated with them. Though with time things changed and I moved cities, developed my own circle in newer schools-colleges and newer cities. And then life changed forever when I started working in metros, got married and like many other of my generation started juggling between professional and personal life.

I will be honest that I remembered her always but yes never ever took the kind of effort which she took to find me. I can’t tell you how special it feels when you realize that even in this jet age where relationship changes within minutes, someone out there still remembers you and has been trying to look for you for years and years. I could not thank her enough for connecting back to me and told her that I will call her back as soon as I reach home. Next moment I shared this news with two people - my husband & my closest friend. Husband being a man was amused on how gals can remember things for so long and closest friend being a girl could totally relate to my excitement of finding another long lost childhood friend.

Same night I called her back and chatted for hours, it never seemed like as if we were talking to each other after so many years, rather a decade or two :). Conversation was flowing naturally from one topic to another, from remembering our very early school days to the days after our paths separated. Husband was lying next to me listening to my conversation. As soon as I kept the phone he asked “is it the same friend whom you found today morning, you spoke to this bachpan ki friend after years and still managed to talk for so long, never looked like you both were out of touch; my god only girls can do this”. I replied with a smile and said, “its not girls rather its childhood friends who can do this; no matter where you left you can always restart it at any point of time, such is the innocence and honesty of a childhood relationship”.

Ain’t it true???

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